WALKERTON - The corner kick is one of the most exciting plays in soccer. Monday it was the difference in Plymouth’s 3-1 win at Hiler Field over potential sectional foe Glenn.
Aubrey Vervynckt scored all three goals for the 18th-ranked (Class 2A) Lady Rockies - and all three came from Julia Kinney corner kicks.
“That was our bread and butter,” said Plymouth head coach Stephanie Ferch. “We’ve been working on those all season so it’s nice to see a few of them fall. We couldn’t score any other way so that worked for us.”
The first one came in the 25th minute. Kinney launched her kick from the right corner, the ball bounded around, somehow found Vervynckt and … well, let her explain it.
“It hit right off my stomach,” said the sophomore midfielder. “It ricocheted off someone, came right at me, went off my stomach and into the goal.”
The unorthodox goal turned out to be the only tally in the first half.
Glenn got the equalizer in the 55th minute when Maya Vermillion made a nifty dribble move just right of the goal, then made a hard left-footed kick that went under the arms of a diving Abigale Lee.
Kinney and Vervynckt connected for a second time just five minutes later though. The header was a little more conventional, but still an outstanding shot as Vervynckt basically fell into the goal right after the ball did.
“It went off my head and somehow I rolled into the net,” she said.
The hat-trick was completed in the 71st minute. This time Kinney played the ball perfectily in front of the net and Vervynckt came charging in and banged it in amongst a number of Glenn defenders and Plymouth teammates.
“My job is to run to the back post, but I kind of just go where the ball is,” admitted Vervynckt. “I kind of just jumped and tried to get something on it.”
“The two goals in the second half were beautiful,” said Glenn head coach Bobbie Milliken. “What are you going to do? They were perfect. That’s not to say they were easy to finish, but if you have someone who can connect to the head, that’s hard to defend.”
The Lady Falcons had a number of good looks throughout as well, the closest to a goal coming late in the game when Vermillion’s shot hit the under side of the top post, bounced just in front of the goal line, then Bella Tribbey’s rebound kick was blocked out of bounds by Lee.
Glenn had a number of near-misses on its 20 shots, including two just over the crossbar by Leena Thomas, a blast by Lizzie Miller that was barely wide, and a great save by Lee on a rocket by Tribbey.
“We had a lot of shots that we missed,” said Milliken. “A couple of them, the ball just bounced funny, including two off the post.”
“We were scrambling a couple of times,” admitted Ferch of her team’s defense. “(Vermillion) was giving us some trouble, but we got lucky on a couple shots to be honest. Lauren (Rumpler) had a great first half. Claudia (Marohn) made some good runs. We moved Jenna (Abberger) to the defensive mid position and she has done a really good job of clogging passing lanes. Emma (Cook) is just solid every game. She hustles, works hard and does all of the little things. (Lee’s) having a really good season. She has saved us a couple of times.
“Overall, we looked a little beat up from Saturday’s game (a 1-0 loss to Northridge), but I thought we made a number of good combination plays.”
Plymouth will have a big challenge Wednesday when it hosts No. 9 (Class 3A) SB St. Joseph while Glenn travels to South Bend Washington today as part of a four-game week.
• PLYMOUTH 3, GLENN 1
P - Aubrey Vervynckt (Julia Kinney) 25th min.
G - Maya Vermillion (Lizzie Miller) 55th min.
P - Vervynckt (Kinney) 60th min.
P - Vervynckt (Kinney) 71st min.
Shots: Plymouth 26, Glenn 20
Saves: Plymouth 8 (Abigale Lee), Glenn 8 (Brooke Miller)
Fouls: Plymouth 1, Glenn 5
Corner kicks: Plymouth 8, Glenn 2
Yellow cards: none
Records: Plymouth 5-2-1, Glenn 5-4